Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

For a franchise with a payroll in excess of $200 million and looking to win their first World Series since 1988, back-to-back seasons of winning over 90 games wasn’t sufficient enough for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

As a result, sweeping changes were made this offseason beginning with the front office and extending to the roster. It was no secret the Dodgers were likely to move an outfielder before the 2015 season, though it somewhat surprisingly wound up being Matt Kemp as he was traded to the San Diego Padres.

In an interview with CBS’ Jim Hill, Kemp called the trade shocking, which he expanded on in a recent interview with Larry King on “Larry King Now”:

It’s a brand new team. It’s definitely shocking. I always saw myself as being a Dodger for my whole career. I never imagined playing for a different team. I mean to see the team that they have now, is very shocking. From the previous years, we had built that team and we started getting really really good and winning a lot of games. I feel like now they have a pretty different team.”

Kemp won’t need to wait long to face his former team as the Dodgers ring in the 2015 season with a three-game set against the Padres. As for the reception Kemp will receive, King believes he’ll be cheered considering he was traded and didn’t leave via free agency. While it’s something Kemp said he’s discussed it with his friends and family, he added he isn’t sure how he’ll be welcomed:

Dodger fans, they’re fanatics. They love their Dodgers. If they see another player wearing a different jersey, it doesn’t matter whatever you did. There might be a couple of boos, especially if I do good.”

If his two appearances at Staples Center for a Los Angeles Clippers game since the trade was completed are any indication, Kemp won’t be greeted warmly at Chavez Ravine. He was booed at both basketball games with the first instance drawing a comment from Clippers head coach Doc Rivers.

The Dodgers selected Kemp in the sixth round of the 2003 draft and he made his MLB debut in 2006. His most successful season with the Dodgers came in 2011 when he led the Majors in home runs (39) and RBIs (126), and finished second to Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun in NL MVP voting.

About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

15 Responses

  1. magikwyrkz4u

    A Clippers game is a lot different than a Dodgers game. I am sure a lot of the true Dodger fans still appreciate the contributions he made to the team while he was here, and I bet he will receive many more cheers and standing ovations then he received at the Clippers games, due to the fact that most L.A. fans are Laker fans if they are into professional basketball. I personally believe he does deserve a nice rounding of applause for what he did while he was here. Hopefully, the Los Angeles Dodger fans will acknowledge this.

    Reply
  2. Chris Mas

    I will cheer him when I see him. He is still my favorite player and I still can’t believe they traded him. In any case, I want to wait and see how they do this season with the new team before I decide to go to another game.

    Reply
  3. Trueblue81

    I would say do not attend another game until the games are on TV. Stop feeding them more money. They get paid by Time Warner regardless if we ever see another game on TV besides the ESPN or Fox games of the week. The Dodgers actually are getting more money not being on regular TV since it forces fans to come to the stadium to see the games. Boycott the stadium. Make a trip down to San Diego for a Dodgers/ Padres series instead. The best line ever was in that interview a few weeks back the Dodgers chairman said the Dodgers have no interest in renegotiating the deal with Time Warner!!! Why?? cause they don’t care. They took the money and ran.

    Reply
    • movonup

      I couldn’t agree with you more. Brilliant post.

      Corporations have killed sports, film, politics, education, prisions, healthcare, television, news media. If a corporation is linked to something it doesn’t take long for that “something” to lose it’s soul.

      Boycott home Dodgers games until they show the fans the respect we’ve earned.

      Reply
  4. Michael N. Norris

    If I were there I would cheer him. Not his fault the front office moved him. Even Garvey who left as a free agent got cheered. Since I no longer live in LA I will get to see the game on MLB.Com..I feel for loyal Dodger fans who for another year will not get the games.

    Reply
  5. Steve Harris

    I will truly miss him and wish that some way and somehow we could bring him back to the Dodgers. Since I don’t have Time Warner–I can’t watch him, see him or view him. Dodgers–you are truly making us blue!!

    Reply
  6. Galen

    I sure wish he was still a Dodger. He was my favorite player on the team. I am a true Dodger fan, but this has made it a bit harder to root for them whole-heartedly. I hope Matt has a phenomenal rest of his career in San Diego!!!!

    Reply
  7. Tony Melendez

    Go Out there and KILL them Matt ! ,and you should have gone to Lakers games instead of Clippers games. You would have been cheered wildly by Lakers fans since a good majority of them are also Dodgers fans !

    Reply
  8. Michael E Brown

    I will treat Matt with the respect that he earned. But I want the Dodgers to win. It will be interesting knowing at this moment, that first game between the Padres and Dodgers will probably put Matt up against CK…….I am a Dodger fan for 57 years, good players come and go, I want the team to win!!

    I do wish him and the Padres well…………but not enough to see them win over the Blue!!

    Reply
    • dodger4754

      Michael, I lived in Long Beach when the Dodgers moved west in ’58 and have been a fan ever since. I was BEYOND shocked that they traded Matt and Dee Gordon, especially to other NL teams. The new management must be suicidal! Regardless, I will pull for my Dodgers, come what may!

      Reply
  9. dodger4754

    Guaranteed, Matt will be cheered upon his first appearance at Dodger’s Stadium!

    Reply
  10. Trueblue81

    I think management made the right moves with Gordon and Kemp. They sold Kemp at his highest value in 2 1/2 years and filled a need at catcher. Dee Gordon literally had 2 good months this past season and we sold high on him. Don’t get me wrong i liked Gordon but i think he was a 1 dimensional player and Kendrick is a definite upgrade. Subtract Dee’s stolen bases and he is a average to below average player. I would love to see him succeed in Florida, but we sold high on him.

    Reply
    • Puffnbeeks

      I will cheer for Matt Kemp wherever he is.

      HE IS THE GREATEST!!!

      Reply
  11. Trueblue81

    And i would never boo Kemp. He signed a long term contract to play for us. Management traded Kemp. Kemp did not asked to be traded.

    Reply

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